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Here’s Why You Need to Boycott Palm Oil Immediately If You Care About Animals and the Earth

Palm oil is used in everything from food like chocolate and cookies to cosmetics such as detergents and shampoo. This common ingredient is doing large-scale damage to the environment behind the scenes.

It is in half of the packaged food you find on supermarket shelves, and is being increasingly used in biofuel and s a replacement for coconut and peanut oil. Unfortunately, people don’t realise how destructive this widely used oil is, its actually one of the most damaging crops used in the world.

Oil palms only grow in South America and West Africa, and require huge amounts of water to grow successfully. Recent demand for the product however has lead to man made farms in Papua New Guinea, Kenya and Southeast Asia. The Indonesian market is so huge that palm oil is their third largest export, at 11% of all exported products.

The growth of these new plantations has taken over rain forests especially in Indonesia and Malaysia and have begun to put at even greater risk the lives of endangered orangutans.

Studies by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Princeton University in the United State show that palm oil plantations are causing massive destruction to rain forest with up to 60% of certain rain forests being destroyed for palm oil and has created problems over traditional land rights.

In Sumatra at least 10.8 million hectares have been opened up for palm oil plantations. The situation in Borneo is similar. Large scale conversion of tropical rain forests has had an absolutely devastating impact on biodiversity in both Borneo and Sumatra. In addition, deforestation may cause soil erosion and, because most forests have been cleared through the use of fire, massive air pollution from smoke.  
Much of the land on which palm oil plantations have been established consists of peat swamp forest. The draining, burning, and conversion of peat swamp forests to palm oil has been especially damaging to the world’s climate as it has led to Indonesia being the third largest contributor of carbon to the world’s atmosphere after China and the United States.

Palm oil growers tend to destroy healthy forests over older areas for the fertile soils, and the added benefit that they can use any surplus wood for profit. The destruction of thick forest leads to starving animals who turn to the orangutans for food, and they have even been found dead with gunshot and machete wounds. 

It has been estimated the over the last 20 years 50,000 orangutans have been killed because of the palm oil industry.

Other species who have been affected due to the effects of this deforestation are the Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sun Bear, Pygmy Elephant, Clouded Leopard and Proboscis Monkey. The World Wildlife Fund say that a football field size of forest is cleared every hour, and that at this rate, orangutans could be extinct in just 5-10 years.

Certain palm oil companies have taken to labeling their product as ‘green’ and unharmful to orangutans but this is due to a loop hole in labeling laws, if you want to ensure your product is not doing harm harm to these beautiful animals, check out the online guide called Say No to Palm Oil.

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Here’s Why You Need to Boycott Palm Oil Immediately If You Care About Animals and the Earth Reviewed by C C on 16:52:00 Rating: 5